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Paulo Maldini's Pro Tennis Career Is Over After One Crushing Defeat

Paulo Maldini's Pro Tennis Career Is Over After One Crushing Defeat
By Mikey Traynor

Around two weeks ago we reported on the news that Paulo Maldini and his playing partner Stefano Landonio won a wildcard spot to compete in the doubles competition of the Challenger Tour in Milan, and while we knew it was never going to be a long-term thing with the the Italian legend at the ripe old age of 49, we didn't see it ending this quickly.

Maldini and Landonio were thrashed 6-1, 6-1, to Poland's Tomasz Bednarek and Holland's David Pel in the first round of the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan, in a match that took just 42 minutes to complete, with the AC Milan icon suffering a pulled muscle on the very first point of the match.

Despite the painful loss, and indeed the pain from the injury, Maldini had a typically wonderful outlook on the experience.

It was like writing a poem after studying years of maths.

We tried to enjoy the moment, because I didn't expect I'd be able to experience something like this at the age of 49. Ironically, on the very first point of the match I pulled a muscle.

It was a unique and unrepeatable experience, I have lived it as a game and there will be no other experience like this.

We could have played better on a few points, but no problem. It could have ended 6-0, 6-3, but we lost 6-1 6-1 and that's fine.

What a man. He deserves even more credit for completing a full tennis match after sustaining an injury on the very first point, although Maldini does not understand what the word 'quit' means, so there was never going to be another outcome.

There are highlights available from the match, although there are not many positives to be seen for Maldini and his partner (Paulo is in the orange top).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duw_AQ8DvKc

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When asked if Maldini would consider returning to professional tennis, he played down the idea while also making the fact that he qualified for the event in the first place look even more remarkable.

I would say no, especially because I don't train like an ex-professional.

I play once a week, I come from another sport, I have physical problems with my knees and a series of limitations due to the inevitable wear and tear caused by football. Also, I don't have much time available.

At least he gave it a go.

Full credit to him, he looked absolutely incredible for someone about to turn 50.

[via FourFourTwo.com]

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